Mercy Me’s Hit Song, “I Can Only Imagine,” Is Being Turned Into a Movie


One of the most remarkable songs in the history of Christian music is the inspiration for and basis of a new faith-based movie starring actors Dennis Quaid, Trace Adkins and Cloris Leachman, among other familiar names.

“I Can Only Imagine,” the popular song by Christian band Mercy Me, will serve as the centerpiece for a feature film by the same name. Due out in Spring 2018, the movie will be directed by Jon and Andrew Erwin, the popular filmmaking brothers known for previous Christian-themed features such as “Woodlawn,” “Moms’ Night Out” and “October Baby.”

The movie, inspired by the song — a tune about Jesus that stunned everyone when it suddenly crossed over and became a mainstream hit back in 2003 — will also be based on Mercy Me lead singer Bart Millard’s life story, Deadline reported.

One of the most fascinating details surrounding the song is the way in which it went from a benign Christian tune to a mainstream smash hit, becoming what Deadline called the “most played Christian radio single in history.”

Mercy Me sat down with TheBlaze and “The Church Boys” podcast in Nov. 2015 to discuss the song’s fascinating and unexpected trajectory — an ascension that still has members of the band stunned more than a decade later.

The band said the song — which includes overtly Christians lines like, “Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still” and “Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all” — ended up on mainstream radio after some shock jocks essentially decided to play it on their show as a joke, TheBlaze reported.

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Billy Hallowell